Keli Tomlin is a Celebrant and writer living in the Peak District. She is passionate about creating sacred ceremonies for life’s precious moments and sharing her deep love for the Land through words, workshops and seasonal celebrations.
There is no hurry to the surface,
One must first root, to emerge.
Encouraged by the shadows it casts on the walls,
This flame will feed on earthen darkness,
Until potential overflows into roaring furnace
and spring sunshine.
Into possibility, new life
the forge prepares to create anew.
Light the Forge © Keli Tomlin
I am standing at the doorway between light and dark: the time when death becomes a visible, tangible and necessary part of life. The land is dressed in decaying leaves, fading berries, fields of stubble and orchards of fallen fruits. Is it any wonder I feel close to both life and death in this moment?
I rejoice in all we have, the endless beauty and the blessed abundance. I celebrate our achievements and our privilege, and I pray for enough, again and always. But I will also remember those creatures and places that are suffering from lack; for whom abundance – be it in food, in beauty or in biodiversity – is a fading thing and who may be edging closer to the darkness than any of us would like to be. And I know that the shadow of such things can draw over any of us, at any moment, without warning.
So yes, I am thankful and joyful at Harvest time! At the same time, I embrace the uncertainty of the darkness and let it drive me towards acts of compassion and generosity of spirit. Then whenever the darkness does come to call I know I will be able to meet it with a torch of love beside me to light the way ahead.
Balance © Keli Tomlin 2018
It starts with silence; a silence that is rich with wind song and bird call. Sounds that our ears have been hearing since the evolution of our species, calling to a place deep inside that recognises the harmony of breath in the spaces between. As the song grows with the daylight – sheep stirring, cockerels crowing, geese gathering and the occasional car humming – it maintains that harmonious quality, cradled by the bowl of the valley in which I rest. The light is more natural than electric here. Over the garden wall I witness the change from night to day and back again and this is entertainment as I have never known it. Drawn into the endless dance with an interest that is instinctive and ancient, not empty and escapist; the steady beat of cyclical time calls my heartbeat into rhythm. Sinking into myself, to where I can hear my spirit speaking, is becoming as natural as breathing. There is no need to force connection here. Where once I would strive with incense and music, tools and images, now I have no need. The Web of Life wraps around me in a patchwork of habitats, creatures, and humans combined and I am warmed by it. It is little effort to step out onto footpaths or up the garden path and all lead back to spirit in the end.
This Place © Keli Tomlin
Looking out from the doorway of the Equinox, all is shadow and bright gilded edges. The tree line is losing its stuffing and the creatures – feathered, furred and all – are layering up to wait, impatiently, for the return of the endless days of warmth, growth and light.
The turbulent weather hustles us into our jumpers and scarves, our homes and hearths, where we draw up company and contemplation like a warm blanket. Reaching out occasionally for sips of solitude and celebration, we search for that ephemeral inspiration needed to survive these dark nights and to dream our way into a new year.
Poised on this edge, flush with the fruits of our cycle’s labour, we might glimpse the potential for all that can be. Past and future press close as lovers in a moment of perfect balance. Then, a blustery gust returns us to motion, reminds us to step through the doorway and back into the dance of life and death, growth and loss, day and night, once more.
So, look to the Earth. For She, as always, is leading the way.
The Doorway © Keli Tomlin 2017
Hands and feet sunk deep
Lips and tongue tasting dirt
Rich and fertile, wet and wild.
Follow the trickle-tease of life
Down a tunnel
Dark and deep
To the cavern
Settle yourself by the eternal fire
Claw the ash
To feed your roots
And clothe yourself
In the possibilities of tomorrow.
Burrow © Keli Tomlin 2016
The Maiden has returned.
Footsteps scattered across the Land
Mantle white as snowdrop skin
Fire burning deep within her
She is dancing
Life into the Earth
With her rhythmic tread
Clever hands and warming hearth,
Promise of rebirth.
She is calling
The Dead back to life.
Return © Keli Tomlin 2016